photo by kkshepel via iStock
Photography clients can be evasive. It seems like there aren’t enough to go around, and thanks in large part to a trend of declining pay for photographers, this may be true.
But, there are still plenty of good clients out there, you just need to find them.
If you’re sitting there wondering how to get more photography clients, I’m going to walk you through three easy steps that you can do in the next week to get more clients knocking on your door.
Do Your Market Research
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
I know words like “market research” probably put most photographers straight to sleep. We’re creative! We don’t like to think about the nitty-gritty stuff we need to do in order to market ourselves and find photography clients.
But, if you think about it less like “doing market research” and more like understanding what kinds of clients you want to work with, it gets less boring.
photo by FluxFactory via iStock
If you’re in the wedding business, this is easy. You know the types of websites your clients are on and the types of shops they are going to.
But, if you specialize in wet plate photography, your list of potential clients could be shorter and more murky. If you’re trying to sell your work to science magazines, those editors are researching on specific websites. If you’re trying to work with universities, those researchers are on different sites entirely.
Once you’ve narrowed down this list (or decided to tackle them all), create a marketing plan to pursue photography clients.
The most important tip on how to find photography clients is don’t forget to have subsections in your marketing plan for each type of client you’re pursuing.
While specializing in one area of photography is often recommended, your marketing needs to cast a much wider net. After all, you never know where you might find your next client, so you need to be promoting yourself in as many ways as possible.
Think Like a Potential Client
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Marketing tips for photographers all center around this one idea: learn to think how your clients think.
If you can anticipate a client’s needs you will definitely have better retention, but it can also help you to find photography clients in the first place.
As with any freelance career, you need to have your ideal client (as we discussed above). Once you have this picture of a perfect client, imagine what they are looking for. How do they want to have your business explained to them? Should you act as more of an authority figure or more of a hype-man?
photo by lisegagne via iStock
If you’re in the boudoir industry, you will probably want to go with hype-man. Your clients are there to get photos taken of themselves, to help them feel good about their bodies.
If you’re in the aerial photography industry, you will definitely want to go with more of an authority figure. Very few people outside of that industry know anything about that industry and all your clients are going to be concerned with is getting the “perfect shot” of their new building for their new marketing campaign.
Think like your clients think and you’ll no longer be Googling: “how to get booked as a photographer.”
Get People Talking
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When you break it down, people care about authenticity.
And if they don’t personally know any photographers, they’re going to want to find a person they know to vouch for a photographer.
While networking yourself around your community is a really important part of this, I think the most important part is to get your clients to trust you.
When they trust you, they are going to feel comfortable suggesting you when their friend needs an engagement photographer or a portrait photographer to take a headshot for their next career change.
photo by djiledesign via iStock
I build rapport with my clients by openly communicating with them, checking in to make sure they are comfortable with my process multiple times, and offering better products than anyone else in my niche.
One tip I was told around a decade ago (before the Polaroid and reusable camera crazes) was to offer hard copies of my work because nobody else was doing it.
There’s no better way to ensure people will keep talking about you than making your work the centerpiece of someone’s home. It’s like a billboard you didn’t pay for!
I kept this in the back of my mind until I found a canvas printing company I trust, and that’s CanvasHQ.
Their reps have found mistakes in my photos a few more times than I’d like to admit and ensured those edits were not the ones to get printed.
They also almost always have a deal going on so you can offer your clients your better photograph for a better price.
Besides, who doesn’t love a big, beautiful canvas print?!
CanvasHQ specializes in high-quality prints that utilize the finest materials, like archival-grade canvas, professional inks, and handmade frames.
Trust me when I say that these things look like a million bucks. Which is even better considering they are priced so well!
The more your clients like you, the more they will recommend you, and if you really want your clients to be impressed with your work, finish it off with an awesome print. If that doesn’t get you more photography clients, I don’t know what will.